CLARK FREEPORT -- SM City Clark hosted a tribute exhibit honoring the contributions of artist Juan C. Flores in the field of Kapampangan art at the event center yesterday.

The exhibit, which features the works of Flores, was formally opened to the public by SM Vice President for Marketing Millie Dizon, Angeles City Vice Mayor Vicky-Vega Cabigting and the late artist's son Daniel Flores.

SM City Clark Public Relations officer Venus Manalang said that the event is not only a testament to the contributions of Flores but also a way of promoting Kapampangan art, particularly Betis woodcraft and furniture products.

"SM Supermalls has always valued local culture and traditions in areas where we operate. This is our way of helping promote local culture and traditions," Manalang said. She said that the works of the Betis-born artist will be on display inside the said mall for a week.

Flores, who was born in 1900 in Sta. Ursula village in Betis, went to Manila as an apprentice for Maximo Vicente, Isabelo Tampingco, Eulogio Garcia and Graciano Nepomuceno, and later returned to Betis to teach the barrio folks the art of woodcarving.

It was Flores whom President Manuel Quezon and President Ferdinand Marcos commissioned to do the carved doors, paneling and decors in Malacañang, including the world-famous wood chandelier.

In 1971, he beat 40 artists from all over the world in a woodcarving competition in Washington. His entry, a bust of President Richard Nixon, was later presented as a gift to the US President.

In 1977, Flores won the Panday Pira Award. He was given the Most Distinguished Son of Pampanga Award in 1983 under Governor Estelito Mendoza and in 1988 under Governor Bren Z. Guiao.

His works have been put on exhibit at the National Museum, Malacañang Museum, the NCCA Gallery, Development Bank of the Philippines, and the House of Representatives.